Explore innovations supporting advances in manufacturing and rapid prototyping. Access the developments and solutions that have an impact on applications in 3D printing and automation.

Products : Motion Control
Positioning Assemblies

UniSlide assemblies from Velmex (Bloomfield, NY) deliver movement in one, two, or three dimensions with linear motion. The systems also can be customized for specific requirements. They are compact, and the design allows for construction of multi-axis systems. They are available in an array of standard manual or...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
PLC-Based Robotic Controls Versus OEM Robotic Controls

As more manufacturing facilities and distribution centers discover the benefits of robotic material handling solutions, the decision of how best to control the robot must be made. While robot original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) offer their own tightly integrated controller, recent...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: April 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Magnetic Fluids Deliver Better Speaker Sound Quality

NASA Technology

In the early 1960s NASA scientists were trying to work around a major problem for orbiting spacecraft: how to move fuel into an engine without the benefit of gravity. A scientist at Lewis Research Center (now Glenn Research Center) came up with a possible solution,...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rubber Production Techniques Could Improve Tires, Reduce Pollution

People have been making rubber products, from elastic bands to tires, for centuries, but a key step in this process has remained a mystery. Scientists from the Kyoto Institute of Technology in Japan have described this elusive part of rubber production that could have major...

News : Software
Compact 3D Printer-Scanner is All-In-One Part Maker

Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) start-up Blacksmith Group launched a compact 3D printer that can also scan items into digitized models. Named the Blacksmith Genesis, this user-friendly device allows users without much knowledge of 3D software to scan any item, then edit the digitized...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Fabrication of Single-Mode, Distributed-Feedback, Interband Cascade Lasers

Type-II interband cascade lasers (ICLs) based on the GaSb material system represent an enabling technology for laser absorption spectroscopy in the 3-to-5-μm wavelength range. Instruments operating in this spectral regime can precisely match strong absorption lines of...

Briefs : Materials
Developing Ceramic-Like Bulk Metallic Glass Gears

This invention describes systems and methods for implementing bulk metallic glass-based (BMG) macroscale gears with high wear resistance.

This invention creates bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) with selected mechanical properties that are very similar to ceramics, such as high strength and...

Products : Test & Measurement
Product of the Month: March 2015

Instron, Norwood, MA, introduced the AVE 2 strain measurement system that conforms to testing standards such as ISO 527, ASTM D3039, and ASTM D638. The video extensometer utilizes patented measurement technology, and adapts to the normal fluctuations of indoor environmental conditions. It can be adapted to any...

Features : Imaging
Hubble Spinoffs: Space Age Technology for the Masses

Over the last 25 years, some of the sophisticated technology developed for the HST has been successfully spun off and commercialized to improve life on Earth.

NASA Spinoff : Software
Vision Algorithms Catch Defects in Screen Displays
Vision Algorithms Catch Defects in Screen Displays

NASA Technology

NASA has sent more than a few robotic missions into space, but it never loses sight of its goal to enable human exploration of the cosmos. A core component of...

Vision Algorithms Catch Defects in Screen Displays
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Mechanically Induced Nucleation Improves Crystalline Quality During Melt Growth of Semiconductors

For certain semiconductors with important applications, the existing bulk crystal growth technique from the melt usually results in poor-quality multi-crystalline ingots that cause the typically low yield of the commercial growth process. The...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabrication of a Nanopipette Array for Biosensing

Development of biosensors is an active field due to a wide range of applications in lab-on-a-chip, diagnostics of infectious diseases, cancer diagnostics, environment monitoring, biodetection, and others. One of the strategies used for selective identification of a target is to preselect a probe...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Circuit Design Tool

Sunstone Circuits, Mulino, OR, announced DFMplus, a Design to Manufacturing tool that allows potential issues to be fixed in the PCB design phase. The tool helps users verify PCB designs before ordering. The tool features a preview of possible failure points, provides efficient transfer of design file data into manufacturing,...

Articles : Motion Control
Google Glass for Industrial Automation

A new concept uses Google Glass for operating machinery, with all of the benefits delivered by wearable computing in an industrial environment. With Google’s Web-enabled glasses, status or dialog messages can be projected via a head-up display directly into a person’s field of vision. Online information...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Computed Tomography Systems

JG&A Metrology Center (Detroit, MI) introduced increased flat panel sizes for computed tomography (CT) systems. Cone beam systems now utilize flat panel technology and scan parts up to 14" (350 mm) in diameter. With increases in LDA sizes as well, the CT systems use line detector array technology when scanning...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Testing Devices Garner Data on Insulation Performance
Testing Devices Garner Data on Insulation Performance

NASA Technology

Whether you wanted to know how certain insulation would work on a Mars-bound spacecraft or on an Earth-based refrigerator, you would want to test its performance...

Testing Devices Garner Data on Insulation Performance
Articles : Materials
Products of Tomorrow: January 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Variable-Sweep-Wing Aircraft Configuration

Efficient aircraft designs are increasingly desired in order to support the continued growth of the air transportation industry. Continued expansion of this vital mode of transportation is threatened due to concerns over ever-increasing emissions, noise, and the demand for fuel. Current airport runway,...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process for Coating Substrates With Catalytic Materials

This invention relates to the process of coating substrates with one or more components to form a catalyst; specifically, the process of layering one or more catalytic components onto a honeycomb monolith to form a carbon monoxide oxidation that combines CO and O2 to form...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Portable Friction Stir Welding Machine

A preliminary design of a portable friction stir welding (FSW) machine for use in space has been developed. The in-space FSW machine takes the form of a handheld router tool that is historically used in woodworking applications. With the design of the in-space FSW machine, the FSW tool is directly connected...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Multimode, Fiber-Coupled, Tungsten Silicide, Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detector Array

The superconducting nanowire single-photon detector (SNSPD) arrays created in this innovation were fabricated using a WSi nanowire process. A gold mirror layer is deposited on an oxidized silicon wafer, and amorphous-state WSi is sputtered from a...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Sidewall Passivation of GaN Avalanche Photodiodes via Atomic Layer Deposition

The visible-blind detection of UV light has important applications in planetary imaging and spectroscopy, astronomy, communications, and defense-related imaging. Future instruments for imaging in the ultraviolet will require improvements in detector capabilities. An...

News : Materials
New Compounds Developed to Manufacture Tunable OLED Devices
New Compounds Developed to Manufacture Tunable OLED Devices

Researchers have developed new organic compounds characterized by higher modularity, stability, and efficiency that could be applicable for use in electronics or lighting. A...

New Compounds Developed to Manufacture Tunable OLED Devices
Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies

NASA’s Technology Transfer Program is a true national asset. It brings together the space agency’s most capable problem-solvers with America’s brightest commercial and entrepreneurial leaders in partnerships that transfer groundbreaking NASA technologies to the public. It provides solutions for challenges in the...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Variable Power Handheld Laser Torch

A handheld laser torch was designed for welding and brazing metals to repair hard-to-reach space shuttle engine nozzles. It incorporates various manual controls and changing lenses to allow the operator to adjust the laser’s power output in...

News : Imaging
Researchers Measure Stress in 3D-Printed Metal Parts

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have developed an efficient method to measure residual stress in metal parts produced by powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing (AM).

The 3D-printing process produces metal parts layer by layer using a high-energy laser beam to fuse metal...

News : Imaging
High-Res Line Camera Measures Magnetic Fields in Real Time

Scientists have developed a high‑resolution magnetic line camera to measure magnetic fields in real time. Field lines in magnetic systems such as generators or motors that are invisible to the human eye can be made visible using this camera. It is especially suitable for industrial...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Design and Analysis of Metal-to-Composite Nozzle Extension Joints

Analysis, design, fabrication, and testing were performed to create a new joint design for potential use in attaching a domestically available carbon-carbon (C–C) nozzle extension to the turbine exhaust manifold of a J-2X engine. Various attachment methods were investigated for...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Modeling Laser Ablation and Plume Chemistry in a Boron Nitride Nanotube Production Rig

The future of manned and unmanned spaceflight and exploration depends on economical access to space through multifunctional, lightweight materials. Boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) composites offer distinct advantages for enhanced survivability during long-term...